STEWART ANNOUNCES 2016-17 UT MARTIN MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
September 29, 2016
MARTIN, Tenn. – A plethora of home dates and matchups against six teams who are coming off postseason berths highlight the 2016-17 University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball schedule, which was released today by Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart.
Coming off back-to-back postseason berths, UT Martin will take on teams from 12 different conferences – including four first-time opponents this upcoming season. After the Skyhawks combined for nine nonconference home games over the last two seasons, UT Martin was able to book seven such dates in 2016-17 to bring the total amount of home games up to 15.
“I made a concerted effort to balance our schedule this season,” said Stewart, who took over as head coach on April 21 after spending two seasons as the Skyhawks’ associate head coach. “Our last two schedules were loaded up on road games and this year, I wanted to get our team in front of our fans as much as possible so we can use our home court advantage.”
Following a home exhibition against Transylvania on Nov. 7, the Anthony Stewart Era at UT Martin officially begins four days later with a matchup at Ole Miss, who won 20 games in 2015-16. A three-game homestand then follows, as the Skyhawks host UT Rio Grande Valley (Nov. 13), in-state NAIA opponent Cumberland (Nov. 15) and Cleveland State (Nov. 18) in a span of six days.
The Cleveland State game begins UT Martin’s participation in the Bluegrass Showcase, a four-game MTE (multi-team event). After the Skyhawks square off against Cleveland State for the first time in program history, UT Martin will also take on Canisius (Nov. 21) in Buffalo, NY and Duquesne (Nov. 23) in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the first time on the hardwood. The Bluegrass Showcase concludes with a road game at national powerhouse Kentucky on Nov. 25, as the Skyhawks will visit historic Rupp Arena for the first time since 1994.
“We were contacted by several MTE representatives and the Bluegrass Showcase was appealing because not only was it a way for us to raise some money for our program but it also allowed us to have a home game against a quality Division-I program,” Stewart said. “It’s not easy to get home games and this event was a good fit for us.”
UT Martin concludes a two-year home-and-home agreement by hosting Florida Atlantic on Nov. 29 before opening the month of December with a road matchup against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 1) for the first time in school history.
Boyce College (Dec. 4) visits the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center for the second straight season before a road game at Illinois State on Dec. 10. The Skyhawks’ home slate continues with a tilt against Arkansas State (Dec. 14), who UT Martin will play for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. UT Martin rounds out its nonconference home schedule three days later against Bethune-Cookman, who the Skyhawks will face for the third consecutive year.
Nonconference road games at UMKC (Dec. 20) and Southern Illinois (Dec. 22) close out the nonconference schedule before Ohio Valley Conference play starts with a pair of home games against Jacksonville State (Dec. 29) and Morehead State (Dec. 31).
UT Martin follows with road games at Belmont (Jan. 5) and Tennessee State (Jan. 7) to kick off January before a three-game homestand against Southeast Missouri (Jan. 15), Eastern Illinois (Jan. 19) and SIUE (Jan. 21). A three-game road swing (at Austin Peay on Jan. 26, Murray State on Jan. 28 and Tennessee Tech on Feb. 1) ensues before a home game against Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 4.
A three-game road trip to Eastern Illinois (Feb. 9), SIUE (Feb. 11) and Southeast Missouri (Feb. 18) follows but the Skyhawks conclude the regular season with home games against Austin Peay (Feb. 23) and Murray State (Feb. 25).
For the seventh straight season, the OVC Tournament will be held at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The first round is set for March 1 while the semifinals and finals will take place on March 3 and March 4, respectively.